It’s time for a little world building. Some of you may or may not be curious about Elin or Dark Moon after the writing prompt about a coming-of-age ceremony.
For those of you wanting more about the region, here it is.
Don’t worry, Kam’s story will continue. I haven’t forgotten about him.
In the Northern Region of Galena, there are three villages that weathered the Sundering: Nottam, Elin, and Dark Moon.
is a town with farmers and craftsmen who wish to live peaceful lives and help the surrounding villages. It does trade with Elin and Dark Moon. Nottam is surrounded by tall stone walls and has towers at each of the corners and at intervals down each side. Anyone entering the town must be tested for the curse. Any Nottamite that ventured out of the town to do trade or adventure must be tested for the curse upon their return.
is a village that has not changed much since before the Sundering. They are a village of warriors, and self-appointed protectors or the Northern Region. They protect Nottam from those who stray from Dark Moon who are cursed and caught out at night.
Before the Sundering, before the signs of the Sundering, there was an alchemist with dark ambitions who resided in Dark Moon. The townsfolk would smell foul odors emanating from his home and give him a wide birth when seeing him on the street.
He spoke to no one except when he needed to make purchases. No one knew his name. They only called him mad.
One night, on a full moon, he was simmering a large batch of an inky black and purple elixir. In the midst of the simmer, he placed ten drops of a mysterious brown liquid within it.
The elixir began to bubble and rise. A purple vapor spilled over the top of the cauldron. The alchemist grasped at his throat and began to wheeze and gasp for air.
He fell unconscious.
The vapor crept out from under the door of his home and into every open window and shut door. The townsfolk would simply cough in their sleep and roll over. Some awoke, looked around, made smacking sounds with their mouths and got something to drink before returning to bed.
The next morning, they found the alchemist’s home sunken into the ground upon which it once stood with a purple mist floating above it. They quickly boarded up the area, paid a wizard to seal it, and spoke nothing of the alchemist or what they had found that morning. They did not allow the wizard to do anything further.
All was well until the next full moon.
People getting ready for their nightly repose began to scream in agony as bones snapped, elongated, and limbs reformed. They tore at their skin as their faces contorted into muzzles with sharp canines and course fur began to take the place of the hair which was their moments ago.
They left their town looking for blood, one-hundred townsfolk cursed by lycanthropy roaming into the night.
The Elinders heard the howls of inhuman things and knew what they had to do. They had been trained since childhood and equipped with the knowledge that one day foul things would roam the land once again. They taught their warriors how to combat all manner of monster, and so, into the night the warriors went to hunt the werewolves that were first-turned.
They knew if any were allowed to sire, all would be lost. They tracked into the night and dispatched 52, but the other 48 had gone to Nottam and claimed more for their ranks before returning to Dark Moon.
The next afternoon, the townsfolk of Dark Moon awoke to the construction of an enchanted wall and gate. The looks of confusion spread among the people as they watched the wall being built. The mayor of the town searched for the foreman.
He found a dwarf yelling orders and wizards placing seals. The dwarf looked up from his work and saw a man in his mid-forties approaching him with a bewildered look.
“What is going here, Greyhammer? Why is there a wall being built around our town?”
The dwarf, having known the mayor for years, walked up to his friend and told him to have a seat. He told him what happened the night before. The mayor’s eyes flew open in horror.
“Why did you not kill us all? We deserve that fate if we committed those atrocities.”
The dwarf sighed, “While your townsfolk were being hunted, the wizards came to your town and found the place where the curse began. They called for priests from Elin and Nottam to cleanse the area before the walls were torn down. The wizards walked the ruined house and collected the cauldron and cleansed any residual curse. After studying it, they determined it could be reversed but it would take time. We would rather help our neighbors than kill them, Mayor Cline.”
The mayor looked at the wall and back to his friend, “How long do they think it will take?”
“They don’t know. Until they can find a way to reverse the curse on the entire town at once, they came up with the walls and gate. No one will be able to go through, over, or under the gate when night falls. As long as you are in your human form, you can come and go to conduct business.”
The mayor stood, “I will call a town meeting and tell the people. Thank you for showing us compassion and mercy.”
“This was not your fault, Hone. It was the work of someone seeking power. No one blames you or the townsfolk. There is no need to thank us. This is simply what neighbors do for one another.”
Hone took three steps away and turned his head back to his friend, “What will happen if one of us is caught out at night and turns into a monster?”
Greyhammer sighed, “A hunting party from Elin will be dispatched to prevent them from rampaging. They will be put down.”
Hone nodded, “As it should be. There is no need for anyone else to befall this curse that was laid upon us.”
Hone made his way back into the center of town and called a meeting where he relayed what happened and their new way of life. The townsfolk reeled in shock as they looked around at the damage and the new people in the town. They made their way to the newcomers they has sired with tears in their eyes knowing an apology was not enough to fix what they had done.
Families had been separated due to the curse. Many that had been bitten and were brought back could not return to Elin or Nottam. This was their new home, their new normal.
To this day, no cure to the curse has been found. A traveler came to the town of Dark Moon and could only create amulets for the tradesmen and traders who ventured out to keep them from turning if they had to leave the town for extended periods of time. No one knew the name of the traveler, only that he had a piercing stare that hid sympathy and sadness and he felt like an oncoming storm.